ShareTool is a low-price application for remotely accessing Bonjour services on your home or office network--like music and file sharing--from anywhere you have an Internet connection. ShareTool also encrypts traffic through SSH, effectively creating a VPN. You can do nearly anything you could normally do on your own network from anywhere in the world, including watching movies from iTunes, grabbing files (with automatic compression for faster transfers), accessing your desktop and hard drive, and even initiating remote sleep and wake up.
The only potential downsides are that you have to enable remote log-in on your computer and keep ShareTool running at all times to ensure access--but the app lets you restrict available services and even bandwidth usage, and it logs all activity. Setup is extremely easy, and performance seems to be very stable. As an added benefit, ShareTool even lets you browse the Web more securely when using open Wi-Fi networks by routing all traffic through your home network.
ShareTool allows you to extend Bonjour across the Internet securely. ShareTool is a fast, extremely secure, and magical way to remain connected to all your home or office networks no matter where you are physically. While connected with ShareTool, many shared (Bonjour-enabled) services on your remote home or office network automatically appear in your Finder, iTunes, iPhoto, and tons of other applications (just as they would if you were physically located at that network). For example, let's assume you're away for business or on vacation somewhere. In addition, ShareTool 2 now supports connecting to multiple networks at the same time. There no longer is a limit to the number of networks you can be connected to simultaneously. Who uses ShareTool? ShareTool was designed and developed for all Mac users and many have come to rely on it's performance and dependability. There is almost no technical know-how required and 99% of all ShareTool setups are completed with just one mouse click. Many businesses and I.T. administrators depend on ShareTool to provide reliable and secure remote support at all times. Lot of individuals also rely on ShareTool for assisting friends / family members and for having complete access to their own network quickly and easily. Any Mac user looking for a secure and dependable way to have complete access to their network anytime and anywhere can be a ShareTool user.
Simplicity. Unfortunately ''simplicity'' is a pro for the concept but a con for the thinking behind a 15-minute demo.
How far can you drive in 15-minutes, set up your laptop on a Wifi, AND have time for a meaningful ''demo?'' This 15-minute demo is one of the dumbest-ideas I've ever seen paired with a good idea.
Wait for Lion. See what's offered. This remote capability may already be facilitated. Also, any utility that costs more than $10 is suspect in my book. Lastly, and to belabor this hand-to-the-forehead reaction to a 15-minute ''demo,'' until the rocket scientists behind it re-think this, go with LogMein.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. The product is good, with very good ease-of-use and interface. Secure screen sharing and data transfer via SSH works well.
One thing is missing for a true remote control: if the remote computer shuts down and restarts, there is no way to log in since ShareTool only starts working once login is done. So login must be done with a competing product, e.g. Timbuktu, which fills this gap. This feature seems indispensable to me - if I want to control a computer remotely, I want to stay in control!
Minor bugs which have cropped up from time to time have been fixed. Right now there is a problem with interaction with the KeyChain in Snow Leopard which will no doubt be fixed soon.
The product advertises on-the-fly compression for data transfer, but is nevertheless no faster than a competing product (iGet) which doesn't do this.
Upon sharing, ShareTool can alert the start of sharing via e-mail. However, the e-mail gives only the local IP number, which is useless for connecting via port forwarding if the remote computer is behind a router with dynamic IP address. It should also give the external IP (like GetMyIP or DynDNS) and include it in the e-mail.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. ShareTool is one of my fav apps and it's on every mac I use. It works great! I just hope for more automated features on login in on the client and the server. Nothing els works so good for ad-hoc vpn connections